SEASIDE — “Let Seaside Keep Its Mayor,” read the lawn signs throughout the city. Voters heard the request, as Mayor Jay Barber on Tuesday defeated challenger John Chapman, owner and operator of KSWB Productions LLC/Radio Clatsop.
Barber, a former city councilor who filled the vacant seat of the late former Mayor Don Larson in 2016, has lived in Seaside for 11 years. The former president of Warner Pacific University and pastor of a community church in Red Bluff, California, Barber and his wife, Jan, have four grown children and five grandsons.
With all members of the City Council returning next year, Barber seeks continuity to pursue projects already underway, including a $15 million Seaside Civic and Convention Center remodel, urban renewal and providing city infrastructure to relocate schools outside the tsunami inundation zone.
“I really appreciate the faith the voters have expressed by voting for me,” Barber said after taking 60.1 percent of the vote to Chapman’s 37.8 percent. “I look forward to working with our council, which stays intact as well for the next four years. We live in a great city, and we’ve got a future ahead. I’m honored to be able to serve.”
City Councilors Steve Wright, Tita Montero and Dana Phillips each ran unopposed in Ward 1, Ward 2, and Ward 3 and 4.
Montero, a councilor since 2010, touted council accomplishments during the campaign, and cited the need for continued work on workforce housing, homelessness, city infrastructure, emergency preparedness and quality of life.
Phillips, elected in 2010, said she was proud of opportunities to assist residents when they have had issues and raised concerns, citing her advocacy for those seeking parking access for people with disabilities.
Wright moved from Gresham to Seaside in 2014. He worked 35 years for an international grain exporter, retiring as chief financial officer in 2013.
Rec bond defeated
Sixty-six percent of Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District voters gave a thumbs down to a $20 million bond to expand the Broadway aquatic facility. The measure would have funded the expansion of district facilities and provided indoor recreation space at the Sunset Pool, opened in 1977. The tax rate for the bonds was 70 cents per $1,000 in property value, or $140 annually for a home with an assessed value of $200,000.
On Tuesday night, Skyler Archibald, the rec district’s executive director, said the organization has strived to meet the needs of residents and guests by providing high-quality recreation programs and facilities.
“While the results of Measure 4-196 are not what we were hoping for, we’ll continue to work to meet those needs,” Archibald said. “Throughout our process, we have repeatedly heard from our residents of the need for more indoor recreation space to increase community health and wellness. The district will be proactive in seeking out opportunities to provide that space both for the interim and for the perpetual future.”